Wednesday, 1 October 2008
Forty-one years ago today, my maternal grandmother (my Nanna) died. She had been in a coma for six weeks after being found on the floor of her kitchen having suffered a stroke. Nanna was the only one of my grandparents I ever knew, the other three having died during the war and before my birth.
Nanna was fifty-nine when she died, the same age that I am now. I was her first grandchild, the object of her overwhelming love. When she died, I was an eighteen years old university student, a gay man at a time when it was illegal to engage in homosexual acts and very few men were out as homosexual to the wider community. The few who were out in those days were almost always 'artistic' and often effeminate.
Whereas I don't think of myself as being old today, Nanna seemed then to be an old lady. It is interesting how much has changed in those forty-one years concerning attitudes to homosexuality, people's life spans and concepts of age.
Would Nanna have loved me less had she known? Maybe she did know?